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Set of MacOS software to recommend?

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#1 Yourjones

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Posted 12 December 2019 - 01:17 AM

Hello everyone

 

If this doesn't make a gready question, could you suggest a list of computer software (for Macbook) that I may need for my non-GoTo system combined with DSLR photographing, preferably free?

 

My poor knowledge only includes image stacking software, and maybe Photoshop for image parameter adjustment, while I believe there are other tools as well. 

 

Thanks



#2 tim53

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Posted 12 December 2019 - 01:32 AM

I haven't priced Nebulosity lately, but it wasn't expensive, IIRC.  Sky Safari isn't expensive either, and works well on the Mac.



#3 Shorty Barlow

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Posted 12 December 2019 - 06:39 AM

Not forgetting Starry Night 8.


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#4 BQ Octantis

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Posted 12 December 2019 - 07:13 AM

Here's my set:

  • Stellarium for exploring and planning—it's free!
  • PHD2 (free) for a guide scope (hack your controller—your periodic error isn't going to go away on its own!)
  • AstroDSLR—no, it's not free, but if you want planetary from your Canon DSLR, it's the only way to go. 20€
  • Lynkeos (free) for stacking—version 3.1 and greater fixes field rotation…so you don't have to!
  • Photoshop. It's not even close to free, but I own CS5 outright.
  • Astronomy Tools action pack for Photoshop. US$22
  • Annie's Astro Actions action pack for Photoshop. US$15

I can't yet recommend RawTherapee (free) for RAW processing, but at some point I might…

 

BQ


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#5 Shorty Barlow

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Posted 12 December 2019 - 10:02 AM

Here's my set:

  • Stellarium for exploring and planning—it's free!
  • PHD2 (free) for a guide scope (hack your controller—your periodic error isn't going to go away on its own!)
  • AstroDSLR—no, it's not free, but if you want planetary from your Canon DSLR, it's the only way to go. 20€
  • Lynkeos (free) for stacking—version 3.1 and greater fixes field rotation…so you don't have to!
  • Photoshop. It's not even close to free, but I own CS5 outright.
  • Astronomy Tools action pack for Photoshop. US$22
  • Annie's Astro Actions action pack for Photoshop. US$15

I can't yet recommend RawTherapee (free) for RAW processing, but at some point I might…

 

BQ

How did you get Stellarium past Gatekeeper on macOS?



#6 PhilipPeake

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Posted 12 December 2019 - 01:27 PM

Take a look at Affinity Photo as a Photoshop replacement - no subscription, very reasonable price.

 

Didn't see anyone say "PixInsight" - you really do want that!


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#7 Ron359

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Posted 12 December 2019 - 04:11 PM

Take a look at Affinity Photo as a Photoshop replacement - no subscription, very reasonable price.

 

Didn't see anyone say "PixInsight" - you really do want that!

PixInsight sure ain't free and its very far from it.  and not for a 'beginner'.   

 

Add PHD2 to the list.   When necessary, Aurora HDR makes doing HDR astro-images pretty easy.   TheSky X, (not cheap) in any version.   And I'll 2nd Nebulosity and Affinity Photo.  FireCapture, maybe if you use planetary cameras.  



#8 BQ Octantis

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Posted 12 December 2019 - 04:13 PM

How did you get Stellarium past Gatekeeper on macOS?

Right-click → Open.



#9 Shorty Barlow

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Posted 12 December 2019 - 04:49 PM

Right-click → Open.

That's useful to know. If only it worked with GIMP!



#10 tim53

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Posted 12 December 2019 - 06:28 PM

I haven't used it in many years, but ImageJ is pretty powerful, and free:  https://imagej.nih.gov/ij/

 

-Tim.


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#11 Yourjones

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Posted 12 December 2019 - 10:14 PM

Thanks all! I've copied the lists down and try the tools.

 

The people on this forum are pure gold!



#12 Ranger Tim

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Posted 13 December 2019 - 01:25 AM

StarTools ($) or Astro Pixel Processor ($$) are native on Macs. They are alternatives to PixInsight ($$$).

 

Nebulosity ($) is a good all around package that does everything, but is a bit dated and the GUI is clunky.

 

PHD2 (free) is the default guider app of the universe. A debt is owed to Craig Stark by all astrophotographers for his pioneering work and choosing to release it to the world.

 

KStars and EKOS (both free) are fantastic (camera control and mount control). Integrates with SkySafari ($) and PHD2, but includes Its own guider and planetarium/scope control too. I use them all with a Raspberri Pi to wirelessly run everything on my remote MacBook Pro via Stellarmate ($) app. Runs through my house wifi. Can also be run in the field with a laptop or iPad. ASI Air ($$) is an interesting platform and deserves consideration, although not sure what the compatibility is with Mac OS or IOS.

 

An older version of Photoshop ($) is handy to have for post processing, but not required if you have one of the more advanced stackers. The new version is only by subscription ($$$).

 

Those are the ones I have experience with and knowledge of. Good Luck!


Edited by Ranger Tim, 13 December 2019 - 01:29 AM.


#13 BQ Octantis

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Posted 13 December 2019 - 02:37 AM

That's useful to know. If only it worked with GIMP!

It does. The other option is to use the Security & Privacy panel in Settings. Here's a recent Apple support page on the matter:

 

https://support.appl.../en-au/HT202491

 

Cheers,

 

BQ



#14 Shorty Barlow

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Posted 13 December 2019 - 06:06 AM

It does. The other option is to use the Security & Privacy panel in Settings. Here's a recent Apple support page on the matter:

 

https://support.appl.../en-au/HT202491

 

Cheers,

 

BQ

OK, thanks. I think I investigated this once. I even installed and ran GIMP but Gatekeeper showed it the door, effectively stopping me running it again unless I reinstalled it. I believe Alex (Stellarium developer) is working on getting Stellarium signed.


Edited by Shorty Barlow, 13 December 2019 - 06:07 AM.


#15 BQ Octantis

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Posted 13 December 2019 - 07:57 AM

OK, thanks. I think I investigated this once. I even installed and ran GIMP but Gatekeeper showed it the door, effectively stopping me running it again unless I reinstalled it. I believe Alex (Stellarium developer) is working on getting Stellarium signed.

Strange…I've been running GIMP for years without issue. But then I'm running High Sierra…

 

BQ


Edited by BQ Octantis, 13 December 2019 - 07:57 AM.


#16 Shorty Barlow

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Posted 13 December 2019 - 08:24 AM

Strange…I've been running GIMP for years without issue. But then I'm running High Sierra…

 

BQ

Things have changed ...



#17 Ron359

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Posted 13 December 2019 - 12:35 PM

There is also this thread in the Computers & Software forum thats been going for awhile.  Its  worth following and 'free'.

 

https://www.cloudyni...phy-on-the-mac/

 

 


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#18 BQ Octantis

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Posted 13 December 2019 - 09:02 PM

Things have changed ...

Oh, I know. But I've come to accept that the problem is me—or more specifically, my memory:

 

I can remember a time when things were better and my OS and software did what I told them to.

 

BQ



#19 Shorty Barlow

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Posted 14 December 2019 - 12:42 PM

Oh, I know. But I've come to accept that the problem is me—or more specifically, my memory:

 

I can remember a time when things were better and my OS and software did what I told them to.

 

BQ

I think my memory is fine. Well, I can't quite recall, but I'm sure it was where I left it.

 

  There was a time when an OS and software did what you told them to?

 

lol

 

Back to Ubuntu then ...

 

       



#20 PhilipPeake

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Posted 14 December 2019 - 01:31 PM

On the topic of MacOS (particularly Catalina) and GateKeeper:

 

When you download something without the Apple signature, it gets an extended attribute attached (com.apple.quarantine).

This causes Gatekeeper to disallow execution (amongst other things).

 

As long as you are sure its not some sort of virus, and just want to use it without jumping through hoops, just remove that extended attribute.

Using the terminal:

 

       xattr -d com.apple.quarantine /path/to/application/applicationName.app

 

With that gone, gatekeeper will leave it alone.


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#21 Lostone

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Posted 14 December 2019 - 06:48 PM

Personally i'd say get an inexpensive PC Laptop how ever I know some mac users who refused to do that so they use bootcamp and boot there mac's into windows and run all their asto software from there.  No issues or conflicts that I'm aware of.


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#22 Shorty Barlow

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Posted 14 December 2019 - 07:15 PM

Or use Ubuntu ...

 

med_gallery_249298_5348_63991.jpg


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#23 BQ Octantis

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Posted 14 December 2019 - 09:24 PM

I think my memory is fine. Well, I can't quite recall, but I'm sure it was where I left it.

 

  There was a time when an OS and software did what you told them to?

 

lol

 

Back to Ubuntu then ...

Or use Ubuntu ...

I didn't say there was a time…I said I can remember a time. So regardless of facts or reality, the problem is my memory.

 

You've hit Ubuntu a couple of times. Are you using it for processing? Are its OS-native tools superior to AutoStakkert, Registax, and Deep Sky Stacker? My 2011 Macbook is quite long in the tooth, but if I'm going to take the plunge on a platform change, it better be worth my while!

 

BQ



#24 Shorty Barlow

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Posted 14 December 2019 - 09:36 PM

I didn't say there was a time…I said I can remember a time. So regardless of facts or reality, the problem is my memory.

 

You've hit Ubuntu a couple of times. Are you using it for processing? Are its OS-native tools superior to AutoStakkert, Registax, and Deep Sky Stacker? My 2011 Macbook is quite long in the tooth, but if I'm going to take the plunge on a platform change, it better be worth my while!

 

BQ

I never let facts or reality cloud my judgement. I don't use anything for processing. However, there are a few AP processing programs in the Ubuntu repo IIRC. 

 

Best ask here: https://ubuntuforums.org/



#25 Tom K

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Posted 17 December 2019 - 09:36 AM

Personally i'd say get an inexpensive PC Laptop how ever I know some mac users who refused to do that so they use bootcamp and boot there mac's into windows and run all their asto software from there.  No issues or conflicts that I'm aware of.

+100 to this.   I wrestled with trying to do imaging with a Mac for years but each and every "solution" was very incomplete.  I finally broke down and got a cheap laptop for use at the telescope and a whole new world opened up.   The cost of a cheap laptop for data aquisition is rather small when compared to the frustrations of trying to do things on a Mac.   I still process my images using PI on a Mac, but I gather all the data with a PC.

 

Since I have a shed next to my telescope enclosure, I now have a cheap desktop PC that actually has a serial port on the motherboard to give me a direct serial connection to my CEM60.   Takes one more USB to serial gadget out of the troubleshooting equation.




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